Free rapid COVID-19 testing available in England for all adults

From 9 April, twice-weekly free rapid COVID-19 lateral flow device (LFD) testing will be available for all adults in England. LFD tests are for people who do not have symptoms. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test online or call 119.

By testing more people, we can identify and isolate more asymptomatic cases, meaning the virus has fewer chances to spread.

Go to an LFD testing site – find details of local sites and book here

Take a test at home – order kits online or collect from a test site or some local pharmacies

Take a test through a workplace/school/university testing scheme, if eligible.

New arrangements on going outside & going to work

The Government has issued new guidelines which come into force on Saturday 13th June 2020. Details are available on the Welcome Page and on the main Coronavirus advice page

Coronavirus regional testing centre to open for key workers

A drive-through coronavirus testing facility is to open at Creekmore Park and Ride in Poole as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to increase testing for thousands more NHS and other key workers, and is operating on an appointment-only basis for NHS staff and other key workers. 

This new testing facility is very much welcomed in Dorset. It will enable us to significantly increase the number of tests that we can provide locally, which will in turn assist all agencies in getting key staff back to work swiftly and safely.

Find out more by clicking here

Help with vital travel

Drivers in the council’s travel team have been lending their skills and support to help Dorset’s vulnerable residents.

The travel team is playing a key role in transporting people home following a stay in temporary hotel accommodation after  leaving hospital.  They are also helping  key worker and SEN children get to school.

We are  doing everything possible to maintain public transport services across the county and are committed to honouring  services for public and school transport as well as  maintaining concessionary bus pass re-imbursement and providing grant support at the usual levels.

Find out more by clicking here

Dedicated support available for unpaid carers during Covoid-19 crisis

Do you look after or support someone, who couldn’t manage on their own if you didn’t? It might be a relative, friend or neighbour with an illness, disability, mental health or an addiction. 

If an unpaid carer is self-isolating because of coronavirus symptoms and needs urgent help to access food and essential household items for themselves or the person they usually look after they should contact the council’s community response helpline on 01305 221000. Lines are open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.

Or email or visit

Even if a carer receives Carers’ Allowance, they should still consider themselves as unpaid and help and support is available.

Further information available by clicking here

If you can’t care for your children at home

If your work is critical to the coronavirus response, or you work in one of the critical sectors and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for childcare provision.

The Dorset Council Family Information Service can help you find childcare for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers.

Contact the Family Information Service Outreach Team if you’re having difficulty finding childcare. 

Advisors will go the extra mile to help you find the childcare that meets your family’s needs. 

Family Information Service – Dorset Council

Tel: 01305 221066



With the ongoing requirement for social distancing take advantage of the free digital services Dorset Libraries offer! Access free Dorset library e-magazines, e-newspapers, e-books, e-audio, e-comics and e-reference from the comfort of your own kitchen table or sofa, or bed by clicking here 


This is a new and exciting initiative, Virtual Village Hall, an online space filled with activities designed for people at home in lockdown, to combat feelings of isolation and boredom. Activities are led by expert tutors and some well-known faces, and the initiative is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Activities include gentle exercise, arts and crafts, cooking and baking, technology skills and quizzes with beatboxing, laughter yoga and Zumba Gold too. Sessions are available seven days a week with both live and pre-recorded activities to join in with. The programme will run as long as people are in lockdown in their homes.

Some of the wonderful up and coming sessions include:

• How to make a ruffle tote bag
• Seated Yoga
• Move It Or Lose It Chair Based Exercises
• Embroidery
• Poetry
• Laughter Yoga
• Qi Gong and Mindfulness
• Watercolours
• Salsa

You can access the Virtual Village Hall by clicking here and all sessions of the Village Hall are available by clicking here.